Matters of State | National White Balloon Day

Last Friday was Bravehearts’ national White Balloon Day, Australia’s only national awareness and fundraising campaign dedicated to preventing child sexual assault.

Relief: A ‘farm gate’ counselling and support program is part of the NSW Government’s Emergency Drought Relief Package.

Relief: A ‘farm gate’ counselling and support program is part of the NSW Government’s Emergency Drought Relief Package.

White Balloon Day is about breaking the silence and empowering children and young people to speak out and speak up if they feel unsafe. Braveheart’s offer specialised support, education and training services for children, families, schools, childcare centres and organisations. Visit

Drought relief

Farming communities facing pressure in the wake of severe drought conditions will have access to 20 new ‘farm gate’ counsellors and frontline mental health workers as part of a $6.3 million commitment from the NSW Government. More people in Western NSW will now have access to additional mental health supports thanks to an injection of funding by the State Government.

Every day I am getting reports of grief and loss from within our farming communities in the wake of severe and ongoing drought conditions. It is often difficult to seek help when living in remote and rural areas, and this new funding will link people struggling with their mental health into services appropriate to their needs.

Western NSW was successful in receiving $1.9 million over two years for a ‘farm gate’ counselling and support program as part of the NSW Government’s Emergency Drought Relief Package.

The program will enable engagement and counselling services to occur at the point of need, providing support for issues related to mental health, drug and alcohol use for those who live in drought-affected areas.

The support team will include a senior counsellor and peer workers and increasing peer workforce within rural communities will assist in reducing stigma associated with mental illness and provide hope to people, demonstrating recovery is possible.

Funding over the next two years will ensure individuals, families and businesses have access to 44,000 hours of crucial mental health support close to home.

For crisis support please phone Lifeline on 13 11 14. For more information on mental health services in your community contact the NSW Mental Health Line 1800 011 511 or visit for rural mental health information.

Grants funding open to community groups

Community organisations looking to build new or upgrade current facilities are encouraged to apply for funding from the NSW Government’s Infrastructure Grants program.

Applications for the current round of Infrastructure Grants are open from September 3-24. Visit

Until next week, Troy